Slight Turbulence

Bring it on, bring it on, bring it on. From here to the eyes and the ears of the 'verse, that's my motto. Or at least it would be, if I start having a motto.


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Get Moving. Faster!

IMG_4937Last Monday was a holiday and The Great Aloha Run (GAR). When I was just a kid (aka in my energetic 20s) I did the run a couple of times. Life was simple. I was fit. Running. Jogging. 8 miles was a fun morning with friends or relatives or whoever had signed up with their company or their church group or their civic club. So when I found out that this was the 30th year for the GAR, I finally got my act together and paid the registration in time to have my entire family participate.

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’m struggling to get my body into a different shape than it is now. I’m also managing high blood pressure and pre-diabetes. Yeah, I’ve really let myself go. The good news is that I’m working on getting things under control and hoping to do it with good old fashioned exercise, healthier eating, and smarter choices.

My training plan was covered by the exercise I began at the end of last year. I go walking with a great friend about 2-3 times a week. We usually go about 4 miles in an hour and ten minutes. See, I wasn’t exaggerating the “great” part, because she is totally in great physical shape and still willing to go at my pace to help me. (Seriously, THANK YOU SAM!!)

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I told the kids about the run and at first the DH was going to just drop us off in the morning, and then he decided “What’s eight miles on a Monday morning?” and gave up an overtime opportunity to make it a family affair.

The kids all got new sporty outfits and at the last-minute, light-weight cover ups because of anticipated rain. In retrospect, I could have been a little less concerned about how they looked, and a little more concerned about having them train a little for the run.

All in all, it was a great experience. Upon reflection of the day’s events, all three children would participate next year. Their competitive sides have emerged and they all want to not only beat their own time, they want to beat each other to the finish line.

That makes me a little worried. I’m not a runner. I’m not really a jogger. I’m more of an “it looks like I’m jogging, but you probably could walk faster than me” kinda gal. So either, I better use this year to seriously train to be faster or … hmm, I guess there isn’t an alternative. Yikes!

Three things I learned during the Great Aloha Run 2014 :

1) People can’t jog or walk in a straight line.

Often when we are strolling through the mall or walking to our car in the parking lot or shopping through Costco, I scold the kids for walking in front of me. I remind them of their youth soccer coach who would shout, “Stay in your own lane” as they moved the ball down the field.

Well apparently, a lot of people did not learn that skill. Walkers and runners were all over the road as I made my way from Aloha Tower to Aloha Stadium. I would use the traffic lines as my guide so I know certainly that others were not. Walk straight people. There’s no one ahead of you. Quit drifting to the left only to drift back to the right and still be going faster than me so I can’t pass you.

2) People need stronger deodorant.

Yes it was humid because the forecasted rain never really materialized. However, how can we all be lining up at the starting line and you are already smelly? And I can’t believe how many people sweat so much that their deodorant wore out. Goodness, we are only at the 3-mile mark and I can smell you coming and thank you for staying up wind of me for the next mile.

3) I’m a solitary runner.

KidA ran with me for all of 2 miles. Then she was so frustrated with my slow speed that she took off and I didn’t see her until we regrouped at the stadium. She was the 1st place finisher in our family and claims it’s because she had promised me she wouldn’t complain from the moment we started until we finished. She said she had way too many “thoughts to share” she had to cross that finish line as quickly as possible. Oh, yes. In case you are wondering, thanks to technology, not only did she call me to tell me she crossed the finish line, she also poured out all her feelings while I was working on completing that last incline in mile 7.

My point is, once I stopped worrying about her, I was totally content to run alone, walk a bit, then run some more. I enjoyed watching people, pacing myself behind someone, planning to overtake someone. When I was with her, it was a little tedious to me to worry about her. The running silence was uncomfortable and conversation a little tiring. So, although I’ll continue to tease her about abandoning me, I am glad she did.

Final Results

KidA: 1:49
KidC: 2:04
KidI / Me / DH: 2:09

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We separated almost immediately after crossing the starting line. KidA with me and KidC & KidI with the DH. I found out later that they ran almost most 5 miles together before KidC saw KidA go by and tried to keep up with her. That’s a lot for KidI’s little legs to go!

I found KidI and hubby around the 6.5 mile point and we walked/jogged together the rest of the way. Well, until the very end when KidI sprinted ahead to make it across the finish line before me.

Yeah, next year I guess my goal is to be 10 minutes faster. I hope it rains again. I can’t imagine how draining it would have been if the sun was out instead of the occasional sprinkle and cloud cover.


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Surround Yourself with Success

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In the last week of January I attended a professional conference with the site coordinators of the federal grant I administer. It included two full days of presentations, sharing, networking, and developing resources for the out-of-school time programs funded by our grant. It was nice to work side-by-side with these individual who work at seven different school across our complex. Morning coffee, after lunch sessions, and getting through evaluation forms which serve as your “exit ticket” builds relationships. It’s a lot about relationships when tough things happen and you are counting on people to get things done.

I came back to work the following week and spent a bit of time going through my notes and handouts to suss out what needed addressing, what was really useful, and what needed filing. The afternoon was spent going through the inevitable emails that stack up when out a few days and there was an email from one of my Site Coordinators.

I was copied on her message to the entire faculty of the school she worked. Even though our programs our not part of the school-day activities, because she required a substitute to attend, she was following “protocol” and sending out a brief summary of how she had spent the two days away from her classroom. She shared what she had learned and offered herself as a resource to anyone interested in learning more or accessing the online information we had covered.

Wow. Just wow.

It made me think of that saying of how successful people surround themselves with other successful and smarter people. I thought of how I love my job and how my enthusiasm contributes to the great job that I am able to do. Then I thought of how I am also, really successful because of those who work with me. They make me a better person.

PS: That Site Coordinator has gone on to plan a staff training session for our program activity leaders and I have shared how humbled I am to be working with her.